Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at Durham University, UK
To contact Lauren in her role as Secretary, please use our contact form.
- Border and migration policing
- Carceral geographies
- Feminist geography
- Political geography
Commercialising Border Enforcement
This project examines the role of private and non-state actors in immigration and border enforcement in the US and EU. Outsourcing and subcontracting detention operations, data analysis, technology development and implementation, trainings, and oversight are commonplace in the US, and the EU’s FRONTEX actively facilitates meetings between the private sector and member state border agencies. This project analyzes the legal frameworks through which non-state actors are authorized to perform particular border and immigration enforcement practices in order to rethink how and the what extent borders can be said “belong” to the state.
(with Prof. Anna Secor, University of Kentucky) This project traces the recent uptick in geographers’ and social theorists’ use of topology and topological metaphors. Space, borders, power, and social relations have been argued to be topological, or becoming topological. Theoretical inspiration for this attraction to topology come from both structural (e.g. Lacan) and poststructural (e.g. Deleuze and Guattari) thinkers, and thus the concept has been used to understand the structuring of space and networks, flows, and leakages. The article provides a critical overview of this emerging body of literature and an original reading of how we might think with and through topological space. It is part of my long-standing interest in theories of space, materiality, and power.
Challenging Immigration Detention
I continue to follow immigration detention politics in the US and have been particularly interested in how detention visitation programs negotiate relationships with immigration and detention center officials. While visitors seek to provide companionship to detainees and to undermine the geographies of isolation imposed by detention, access requires relationship-building and communication between groups that are usually antagonistic. This research has been carried out in collaboration with migrant advocates and activists in the United States, and I hope to extend these relationship to European visitation programs, as well.